Was Augustine a Filioquist in the sense that the Council of Florence defines Pneumatology? Some say “yes,” but they are depending upon a surface level understanding of some hard-to-interpret words of Augustine’s. Ironically, Augustine anticipated his words would be misused:
I expect, indeed, that some, who are more dull of understanding, will imagine that in some parts of my books I have held sentiments which I have not held, or have not held those which I have. But their error, as none can be ignorant, ought not to be attributed to me, if they have deviated into false doctrine through following my steps without apprehending me (Book 1, Par 6).
To thoroughly answer the question of whether Augustine’s Pneumatology was Orthodox, it is absolutely necessary to unpack all 15 books of On the Trinity. By understanding these books’ illustrations and consistent arguments, it is possible to get a firm handle on Augustine’s Pneumatology.
In this article we cover Books 11 through 14.
Now, let’s unpack our final illustration. In review, Augustine posited the existence of three trinities in the mind as reflections of the actual Trinity:
- Mind, Knowledge, Love
- Lover, Love, Beloved
- Mind, Will/Soul, Vision
We covered the first two in the previous article and saw that the first two are interconnected. The Mind is also the Lover, as the Mind Loves Knowledge. As we shall see, the third Trinity is similar in this regard, as it includes the Mind and it equates the Spirit (Will) with the desire proceeding from the Mind, actualized upon the realization of Knowledge of visible things (i.e. Vision).
In Book XI, Augustine begins by simply defining what vision is like:
When, then, we see any corporeal object, these three things, as is most easy to do, are to be considered and distinguished: First, the object itself which we see; whether a stone, or flame, or any other thing that can be seen by the eyes; and this certainly might exist also already before it was seen; next, vision or the act of seeing, which did not exist before we perceived the object itself which is presented to the sense; in the third place, that which keeps the sense of the eye in the object seen, so long as it is seen, viz. the attention of the mind…that attention of the mind which keeps the sense in that thing which we see, and connects both [sense and the thing we see], not only differs from that visible thing in its nature; in that the one is mind, and the other body; but also from the sense and the vision itself: since this attention is the act of the mind alone [solius];… (Par 2)
This is the single most important passage in the whole series of books for the purposes of discerning whether Augustine is more closely approximated to Roman Catholic or Orthodox in his Pneumatology. However, because the preceding passage requires a fleshed out understanding of trinities within the mind, it appears to be glossed over everyone on both sides of the issue.
I submit to you, dear reader, if we understand this passage, we can arrive to no other conclusion that Augustine is theologically at odds with Florence and Aquinas.
First, let’s prevent any misunderstandings. It is easy for one to read in the passage “first, second, third” and think the Persons of the Trinity are being listed. This is not occurring in the preceding passage.
The physical object and physical eyes are not metaphors for Trinitiarian hypostases. Rather, Vision (the spiritual “act of seeing”), the Mind, and Will/Soul proceeding from the Mind are metaphors for the hypostases as they pertain to the immaterial components of what make up a vision.
If the preceding is an accurate presentation of what Augustine is trying to convey with his metaphors in Book XI, the fact that Will to see proceeds only from the Mind, or in Augustine’s words, “this attention is the act of the mind alone,” disallows for any contention that Augustine was a Florentine Filioquist.
The attention, the will to look, meets the criteria of being the Holy Spirit because it “connects both” Mind and Vision. Augustine defines the Spirit specifically as what the Father and Son hold in common–the harmony between the Persons. The Spirit is the “connection” so to say which allows different Persons with relative differences to share the same essence.
In Par 5, Augustine restates the scheme from Par 2, but calls the “attention of the mind” the “will of the mind:”
The case then being so, let us remember how these three things, although diverse in nature, are tempered together into a kind of unity; that is, the form of the body which is seen, and the image of it impressed on the sense, which is vision or sense informed, and the will of the mind which applies the sense to the sensible thing, and retains the vision itself in it.
Immediately afterwards, Augustine then reiterates that the Will is from the immaterial soul (i.e. the Mind) alone:
The first of these, that is, the visible thing itself, does not belong to the nature of the living being, except when we discern our own body. But the second belongs to that nature to this extent, that it is wrought in the body, and through the body in the soul; for it is wrought in the sense, which is neither without the body nor without the soul. But the third is of the soul alone, because it is the will.
The metaphor is obvious. Vision, which represents Jesus Christ, has a physical incarnate nature and also an immaterial, eternal nature. The first, the “visible” (physical incarnate) “thing” is an entity outside of the one who sees and this aspect is Vision is not from the Mind/Soul. Jesus Christ’s physical body, for example, is from the Virgin Mary–not the Father. The second, “is wrought in the body…in the soul” or in other words, is immaterial and from the Mind/Soul–the divine nature of Christ from the Father. The third, unlike the first and second, is the Will to have Vision. The Will has no connection to the physical realm and does not depend upon there being a physical thing that can be see. It is from the Mind/Soul alone, just as the first is from the “thing” and the second is from the Mind/Soul as well. Hence, if we keep the metaphor intact, we can see that just as Jesus’s divine nature is from the Mind/Soul alone, so is the Spirit’s. Otherwise, the metaphor of there being a true Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) reflected in the example of how we have Vision no longer exists, nor works according to the guidelines Augustine just gave.
In Par 9 Augustine gives us the additional details necessary to illustrate Vision:
Of that vision then; that is, of the form which is wrought in the sense of him who sees; the form of the bodily thing from which it is wrought, is, as it were, the parent.
When we look at our own body from which Vision is wrought, it appears the visible form of the body is where Vision comes from. However, this is misleading. Vision must have an immaterial/spiritual origin.
But it [the body where vision appears to proceed from] is not a true parent; whence neither is that a true offspring; for it is not altogether born therefrom, since something else is applied to the bodily thing in order that it may be formed from it, namely, the sense of him who sees.
Vision is not an offspring of the body, because “something else is applied to the bodily thing–” in other words something spiritual: “the sense of him who sees.”
And for this reason, to love this is to be estranged.
It is not right to love the body as the source of Vision.
Therefore the Will which unites both, viz. the quasi-parent [human body] and the quasi-child [Vision of a material object], is more spiritual than either of them. For that bodily thing which is discerned, is not spiritual at all.
Vision is spiritual, because its immaterial and it’s the “quasi-child” of the body, because it is not really from the body (“the quasi-parent.”) The Will, however, is spiritual/immaterial and makes the Vision possible, uniting both. This Will appears to be the desire of the Mind. It is equated with the Soul (see later in paragraph) because the Soul is the Will to see actualized.
The preceding is a somewhat strange argument, because a Soul can exist in a blind person. As we shall see in a bit, Augustine is speaking of the origin of a sense of Vision, so a sense is technically within a blind person’s soul (or Christ could not heal the blind if a sense of vision was not natural even to a blind man). Understood in this way, Vision exists when the sense begins, which derives from ensoulment.
But the Vision which comes into existence in the sense, has something spiritual mingled with it, since it cannot come into existence without the Soul. But it is not wholly spiritual; since that which is formed is a sense of the body. Therefore the Will which unites both is confessedly more spiritual, as I have said; and so it begins to suggest (insinuare), as it were, the person of the Spirit in the Trinity. But it belongs more to the sense that is formed, than to the bodily thing whence it is formed.
In short, the Vision is the Son and He is described as a manifestation of the physical world combining with the spiritual world (i.e. equating seeing visible material forms with Christ’s incarnation). This is actualized by the Spirit (Christ was conceived by the Spirit). Being that Augustine explicitly states that the “Will which unites both” and the “attention of the Mind…which connects both” is the Holy Spirit, we can have no doubt that he believed the Father alone is cause of the Spirit. After all, Augustine states that “this attention [to see, i.e. the Will to see] is the act of the Mind alone.”
Augustine then continues in Par 9:
For the sense and Will of an animate being belongs to the Soul, not to the stone or other bodily thing that is seen. It does not therefore proceed from that bodily thing as from a parent; yet neither does it proceed from that other as it were offspring, namely, the Vision [the Logos] and Form That is in the Sense [the Logos made flesh].
As it pertains to the incarnation, there is a sense in which the Spirit is a “parent” to the Son.
For the Will existed before the Vision came to pass, which Will applied the sense that was to be formed to the bodily thing that was to be discerned; but it was not yet satisfied.
Until the “Will” is “satisfied,” earlier referred to by myself as “the desire actualized,” the Vision does not come to pass (nor does the Soul properly have its sense, or the Mind’s desire to know its knowledge, or the Lover’s desire to love its beloved.)
For how could that which was not yet seen satisfy? And satisfaction means a Will that rests content.
This is perhaps another passage where we can equate Augustine’s Pneumatological doctrine with the Damascene’s: “[W]e believe also in one Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life: Who proceeds from the Father and rests in the Son” (Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book I, Chap 8).
And, therefore, we can neither call the Will the quasi-offspring of Vision, since it existed before Vision; nor the quasi-parent, since that Vision was not formed and expressed from the Will, but from the bodily thing that was seen.
The Will/Soul is not the cause of the Vision, because what is seen in the Vision (in a sense) pre-exists being seen. In other words, the Will/Soul is not the cause of the Son because the Father begat Him. However, the Will is not the “quasi-offspring” of the Vision, because the Will to see before what was seen was made visible. In other words, the Vision (Son) does not cause the Will (Spirit).
On a side note, how about the incarnation? I presume, in some sense, the Spirit is not the cause of the incarnation, because all things are “from” the Father, “through” the Son, and “in” the Holy Spirit. According to Saint Maximus, “in” pertains to the Spirit being present in all physical things and people in creation (cf Questions of Thalassius, Question 15).
Perhaps we can rightly call Vision the end and rest of the Will…there can be no question made about showing that the end of the Will is the Vision; for it [the will] is manifest (Par 10).
Consistent with the manifestation doctrine, the Spirit manifests when He rests in the Son—i.e. the Mind’s desire is actualized.
For visual learners, I sum up the preceding in Illustration #4:
My detractors might say this illustration is of the incarnation, and so “the rules” that apply are different than to the eternal causation of the Spirit. However, being that Bibilically, liturgically, and sacramentally we are always putting the horse (the Spirit) before the cart—at what point do we admit the obvious and see that the Spirit’s spiration mirrors the incarnation itself? The plain sense of Augustine’s illustrations disallows for the Son being part of the cause of the Spirit. Not coincidentally, the illustrations follow the order of the role of the Persons in the incarnation and how the liturgy describes the consecration of the Eucharist.
Augustine in Books IX and X gives examples which demonstrate the eternal relationships within the Trinity where the Son has no causal role in the Spirit’s origination. In Book XI, Augustine speaks of the incarnation within the purview of Vision—following the same exact pattern. It would be fair to say that Augustine viewed these logical priorities within the Trinity as consistent and applicable universally. Hence, it is within the lens of these illustrations, which flesh out his doctrine of the Trinity, that we must understand his doctrinal explanations in Book XV.
Between Books XI and XV, there is not too much relevant to the Pneumatological discussion we have not already covered. That does not mean interesting things are not commented upon.
In Book XII, it appears that Augustine (citing 1 Cor 11) teaches that technically only man, and not woman, is made in the image of God (Par 9-10).
In Book XIII, Augustine teaches that the desire to sin or to refuse to is “alien from paradise before sin,” (Par 23) which is a profound teaching that anticipates Maximus’ teaching on gnomic will.
We covered some snippets from Book XIV in the previous article and for the sake of brevity, I will offer no additional comments on it.
Let’s end with a comment from an important section in Book XIII:
Because, first, those sounds of words are in his memory [i.e. Mind], even when he does not think thereupon; and next, the mental Vision (acies) of his act of recollection is formed thence when he conceives of them; and next, the Will of him who remembers and thinks unites both. (Par 26)
Anyone reading the preceding can realize that the Will which unites mental Vision to the Mind’s memory is not caused by the mental Vision in any way. Even with a chronological-sounding word like “next,” it is abundantly obvious that Vision does not play a role in causing the Will.
On what consistent basis can anyone think, seeing that Augustine says the Will proceeds from the “Mind alone” (Augustine: “solius animi,”) that the Spirit requires the Son as part of a causal principle? As we shall see, Roman Catholics are not reading into Augustine the illustrations we covered in this and the preceding article. By not understanding Augustine on the man’s own terms, Roman Catholics (and those mirroring their interpretations) fundamentally misunderstand Book XV.
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None of this agrees with John 15:26, with Acts 2:33, with the Creed (Niceno-Constantinopolitan) 381 AD, sans Filioque; Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Let us remember Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt by looking back (at the sinful past). The sinful Augustinian past of Western Europe, the atheistic evil Augustinian original sin determinist humanist secular Europe: See: Dr. Joseph P. Farrell, Ph.D. God, History, and Dialectic: 4 volumes. We should be reading Photius, and Mark of Ephesus, and Basil and Ambrose, not blessed Augustine. We should be reading Farrell, brothers and sisters in Christ. Augustine is a good soul, who loved Christ, but his thinking is philosophy, and not prayer and theology; it is a mere intellectual curiosity, a waiting room for bored strangers, seeking “secret knowledge” (gnosticism). Even Augustine himself didn’t know or understand what he was trying to say; he looked to much to the erotic and to the world, and to Greek philosophy, and too little to the Greek NT and the other Greek (and Latin) Church Fathers. It would be better to read Athanasius, Chrysostom, Basil, and Irenaeus, than Augustine. I was a Lutheran for a while, but I feel no sympathy for Luther’s Augustinian. I understand many have been hurt by Calvinism, and that is the main reason they are digging in so much into getting themselves free of Augustine, but not always succeeding! It is best to let Augustine rest in peace, and not trying to say he is a thoroughly Orthodox Christians, which seems miles away from the facts. Better to read Father Michael Azkoul, “The Influence of Augustine on the Orthodox Church”,. and leave it at that. God bless you. Have a blessed rest of the year and may God spare you and your family, your friends, your churches, from corona plague. God save us all. Amen. Sincerely, the thought-wandering and forgiven sinner, Scott R. Harrington Old Believer, Erie PA God bless the USA (Lee Greenwood). Take care.
Saint John Chrysostom. Homilies. CCEL. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. homilies of St. John Chrysostom,
archbishop of constantinople,
gospel according to
[1.] They that are spectators of the heathen games, when they have learned that a distinguished athlete and winner of crowns is come from any quarter, run all together to view his wrestling, and all his skill and strength; and you may see the whole theater of many ten thousands, all there straining their eyes both of body and mind, that nothing of what is done may escape them. So again these same persons, if any admirable musician come amongst them, leave all that they had in hand, which often is necessary and pressing business, and mount the steps, and sit listening very attentively to the words and the accompaniments, and criticising the agreement of the two. This is what the many do.
Again; those who are skilled in rhetoric do just the same with respect to the sophists, for they too have their theaters, and their audience, and clappings of hands, and noise, and closest criticism of what is said.
And if in the case of rhetoricians, musicians, and athletes, people sit in the one case to look on, in the other to see at once and to listen with such earnest attention; what zeal, what earnestness ought ye in reason to display, when it is no musician or debater who now comes forward to a trial of skill, but when a man is speaking from heaven, and utters a voice plainer than thunder? for he has pervaded the whole earth with the sound; and occupied and filled it, not by the loudness of the cry, but by moving his tongue with the grace of God.
And what is wonderful, this sound, great as it is, is neither a harsh nor an unpleasant one, but sweeter and more delightful than all harmony of music, and with more skill to soothe; and besides all this, most holy, and most awful, and full of mysteries so great, and bringing with it goods so great, that if men were exactly and with ready mind to receive and keep them, they could no longer be mere men nor remain upon the earth, but would take their stand above all the things of this life, and having adapted themselves to the condition of angels, would dwell on earth just as if it were heaven.
[2.] For the son of thunder, the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master’s bosom with much confidence,3 this man comes forward to us now; not as an actor of a play, not hiding his head with a mask, (for he hath another sort of words to speak,) nor mounting a platform,4 nor striking the stage with his foot, nor dressed out with apparel of gold, but he enters wearing a robe of inconceivable beauty. For he will appear before us having “put on Christ” ( Rom. xiii. 14; Gal. iii. 27 ), having his beautiful “feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace” ( Eph. vi. 15 ); wearing a girdle not about his waist, but about his loins, not made of scarlet leather nor daubed outside5 with gold, but woven and composed of truth itself. Now will he appear before us, not acting a part, (for with him there is nothing counterfeit, nor fiction, nor fable,) but with unmasked head he
proclaims to us the truth unmasked; not making the audience believe him other than he is by carriage, by look, by voice, needing for the delivery of his message no instruments of music, as harp, lyre, or any other the like, for he effects all with his tongue, uttering a voice which is sweeter and more profitable than that of any harper or any music. All heaven is his stage; his theater, the habitable world; his audience, all angels; and of men as many as are angels already, or desire to become so, for none but these can hear that harmony aright, and show it forth by their works; all the rest, like little children who hear, but what they hear understand not, from their anxiety about sweetmeats and childish playthings; so they too, being in mirth and luxury, and living only for wealth and power and sensuality, hear sometimes what is said, it is true, but show forth nothing great or noble in their actions through fastening6 themselves for good to the clay of the brickmaking. By this Apostle stand the powers from above, marveling at the beauty of his soul, and his understanding, and the bloom of that virtue by which he drew unto him Christ Himself, and obtained the grace of the Spirit. For he hath made ready his soul, as some well-fashioned and jeweled lyre with strings of gold, and yielded it for the utterance of something great and sublime to the Spirit.
[3.] Seeing then it is no longer the fisherman the son of Zebedee, but He who knoweth “the deep things of God” ( 1 Cor. ii. 10 ), the Holy Spirit I mean, that striketh this lyre, let us hearken accordingly. For he will say nothing to us as a man, but what he saith, he will say from the depths of the Spirit, from those secret things which before they came to pass the very Angels knew not; since they too have learned by the voice of John with us, and by us, the things which we know. And this hath another Apostle declared, saying, “To the intent that unto the principalities and powers might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God.” ( Eph. iii. 10.) If then principalities, and powers, and Cherubim, and Seraphim, learned these things by the Church, it is very clear that they were exceedingly earnest in listening to this teaching; and even in this we have been not a little honored, that the Angels learned things which before they knew not with us; I do not at present speak of their learning by us also. Let us then show much silence and orderly behavior; not to-day only, nor during the day on which we are hearers, but during all our life, since it is at all times good to hear Him. For if we long to know what is going on in the palace, what, for instance, the king has said, what he has done, what counsel he is taking concerning his subjects, though in truth these things are for the most part nothing to us; much more is it desirable to hear what God hath said, especially when all concerns us. And all this will this man tell us exactly, as being a friend of the King Himself, or rather, as having Him speaking within himself, and from Him hearing all things which He heareth from the Father. “I have called you friends,” He saith, “for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you.” ( John xv. 15.)
[4.] As then we should all run together if we saw one from above bend down “on a sudden”7 from the height of heaven, promising to describe exactly all things there, even so let us be disposed now. It is from thence that this Man speaketh to us; He is not of this world, as Christ Himself declareth, “Ye are not of the world” ( John xv. 19 ), and He hath speaking within him the Comforter, the Omnipresent, who knoweth the things of God as exactly as the soul of man knoweth what belongs to herself, the Spirit of holiness, the righteous Spirit, the guiding Spirit, which leads men by the hand to heaven, which gives them other eyes, fitting them to see things to come as though present, and giving them even in the flesh to look into things heavenly. To Him then let us yield ourselves during all our life8 in much tranquillity. Let none dull, none sleepy, none sordid, enter here and tarry; but let us remove ourselves to heaven, for there He speaketh these things to those who are citizens there. And if we tarry on earth, we shall gain nothing great from thence. For the words of John are nothing to those who do not desire to be freed from this swinish life, just as the things of this world to him are nothing. The thunder amazes our souls, having sound without significance; 9 but this man’s voice troubles none of the faithful, yea, rather releases them from trouble and confusion; it amazes the devils only, and those who are their slaves. Therefore that we may know how it amazes them, let us preserve deep silence, both external and mental, but especially the latter; for what advantage is it that the mouth be hushed, if the soul is disturbed and full of tossing? I look for that calm which is of the mind, of the soul, since it is the hearing of the soul which I require. Let then no desire of riches trouble us, no lust of glory, no tyranny of anger, nor the crowd of other passions besides these; for it is not possible for the ear, except it be cleansed, to perceive as it ought the sublimity of the things spoken; nor rightly to understand the awful and unutterable nature of these mysteries, and all other virtue which is in
these divine oracles. If a man cannot learn well a melody on pipe or harp, unless he in every way strain his attention; how shall one, who sits as a listener to sounds mystical, be able to hear with a careless soul?
[5.] Wherefore Christ Himself exhorted, saying, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” ( Matt. vii. 6.) He called these words “pearls,” though in truth they be much more precious than they, because we have no substance more precious than that. For this reason too He is wont often to compare their sweetness to honey, not that so much only is the measure of their sweetness, but because amongst us there is nothing sweeter. Now, to show that they very exceedingly surpass the nature of precious stones, and the sweetness of any honey, hear the prophet speaking concerning them, and declaring this superiority; “More to be desired are they,” he saith “than gold and much precious stone; sweeter are they also than honey and the honeycomb.” ( Ps. xix. 10.) But to those (only) who are in health; wherefore he has added, “For thy servant keepeth them.” And again in another place calling them sweet he has added, “to my throat.” For he saith, “How sweet are thy words unto my throat.” ( Ps. cxix. 103.) And again he insisteth on the superiority, saying, “Above honey and the honeycomb to my mouth.” For he was in very sound health. And let not us either come nigh to these while we are sick, but when we have healed our soul, so receive the food that is offered us.
It is for this reason that, after so long a preface, I have not yet attempted to fathom10 these expressions (of St. John), in order that every one having laid aside all manner of infirmity, as though he were entering into heaven itself, so may enter here pure, and freed from wrath and carefulness and anxiety of this life, of all other passions. For it is not otherwise possible for a man to gain from hence anything great, except he have first so cleansed anew his soul. And let no one say that the time to the coming communion11 is short, for it is possible, not only in five days, but in one moment, to change the whole course of life. Tell me what is worse than a robber and a murderer, is not this the extremest kind of wickedness? Yet such an one arrived straight at the summit of excellence, and passed into Paradise itself, not needing days, nor half a day, but one little moment. So that a man may change suddenly, and become gold instead of clay. For since what belongs to virtue and to vice is not by nature, the change is easy, as being independent of any necessity. “If ye be willing and obedient,” He saith, “ye shall eat the good of the land.” ( Isa. i. 19.) Seest thou that there needs the will only? will—not the common wishing of the multitude—but earnest will. For I know that all are wishing to fly up to heaven even now; but it is necessary to show forth the wish by works. The merchant too wishes to get rich; but he doth not allow his wish to stop with the thought of it; no, he fits out a ship, and gets together sailors, and engages a pilot, and furnishes the vessel with all other stores, and borrows money, and crosses the sea, and goes away into a strange land, and endures many dangers, and all the rest which they know who sail the sea. So too must we show our will; for we also sail a voyage, not from land to land, but from earth to heaven. Let us then so order our reason, that it be serviceable to steer our upward course, and our sailors that they be obedient to it, and let our vessel be stout, that it be not swamped amidst the reverses and despondencies of this life, nor be lifted up by the blasts of vainglory, but be a fast and easy vessel. If so we order our ship, and so our pilot and our crew, we shall sail with a fair wind, and we shall draw down to ourselves the Son of God, the true Pilot, who will not leave our bark to be engulfed, but, though ten thousand winds may blow, will rebuke the winds and the sea, and instead of raging waves, make a great calm.
[6.] Having therefore ordered yourselves, so come to our next assembly, if at least it be at all an object of desire to you to hear somewhat to your advantage, and lay up what is said in your souls. But let not one of you be the “wayside,” none the “stony ground,” none the “full of thorns.” ( Matt. xiii. 4, 5, 7.) Let us make ourselves fallow lands. For so shall we (the preachers) put in the seed with gladness, when we see the land clean, but if stony or rough, pardon us if we like not to labor in vain. For if we shall leave off sowing and begin to cut up thorns, surely to cast seed into ground unwrought were extreme folly.
It is not meet that he who has the advantage of such hearing be partaker of the table of devils. “For what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” ( 2 Cor. vi. 14.) Thou standest listening to John, and learning the things of the Spirit by him; and dost thou after this depart to listen to harlots speaking vile things, and acting viler, and to effeminates cuffing one another? How wilt thou be able to be fairly cleansed, if thou wallowest in such mire? Why need I reckon in detail all the indecency that is there? All there is laughter, all is shame, all disgrace, revilings and mockings, all abandonment, all destruction. See, I forewarn and charge you all. Let none of those who enjoy the blessings of this table destroy his own
soul by those pernicious spectacles. All that is said and done there is a pageant of Satan. But ye who have been initiated know what manner of covenants ye made with us, or rather ye made with Christ when He guided you into His mysteries, what ye spoke to Him, what speech ye had with Him concerning Satan’s pageant;12 how with Satan and his angels ye renounced this also, and promised that you would not so much as cast a glance13 that way. There is then no slight ground for fear, lest, by becoming careless of such promises, one should render himself unworthy of these mysteries.
[7.] Seest thou not how in king’s palaces it is not those who have offended, but those who have been honorably distinguished,14 that are called to share especial favor,15 and are numbered among the king’s friends. A messenger has come to us from heaven, sent by God Himself, to speak with us on certain necessary matters, and you leave hearing His will, and the message He sends to you, and sit listening to stage-players. What thunderings, what bolts from heaven, does not this conduct deserve! For as it is not meet to partake of the table of devils, so neither is it of the listening to devils; nor to be present with filthy raiment at that glorious Table, loaded with so many good things, which God Himself hath provided. Such is its power, that it can raise us at once to heaven, if only we approach it with a sober mind. For it is not possible that he who is continually under the influence of16 the words of God, can remain in this present low condition, but he needs must presently take wing, and fly away to the land which is above, and light on the infinite treasures of good things; which may it be that we all attain to, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and with whom be glory to the Father and the All-holy Spirit, now and ever, and world without end. Amen.
@scottrobertharrington, Craig’s argument is that St. Augustine is Orthodox and misunderstood as filioquist, partly because his arguments are abstruse and dense, relying on illustrations that require detailed unpacking. Your lengthy copy/pasting amounts to saying “Augustine is filioquist in the RC sense”, which merely begs the question. You haven’t even tried to interact with Craig’s arguments. If Craig is right about how to understand St. Augustine’s illustrations, it follows that St. Augustine was perfectly Orthodox. So maybe you could help us out by showing how Craig’s understanding of St. Augustine’s illustrations is wrong.
There are Orthodox who believe that Augustine of Hippo was not thoroughly Orthodox. Just as there are Orthodox who believe the current EP is verging into innovation and is mistaken about his alleged primus inter pares role as a kind of EO Pope. That is Roman Catholicism, not Eastern Orthodoxy. There has not been an ecumenical council of Orthodoxy that has declared all of Augustine of Hippo’s opinions to be perfectly Orthodox. The bottom line for all EO, for all of us, is not our theologoumena, private theological opinions, but the common dogmas of the Orthodox Faith (Jude 1:3, St. Vincent of Lerins, Commonitories, “Always, Everywhere, and by Everyone”, and St. John Damascene, De Fide Orthodoxa). Filioque is not Orthodox. This has already been decided by several local councils of the EO Church, as well as the 2nd Council of 381, and the 3rd & 4th councils, 431, 451. These speak for Orthodoxy. Whatever agrees with this councils is Orthodox; whatever does not agree with these councils is heterodox. Just as a valid Church Father can be Orthodox, but err in some minor ways in personal opinions, so blessed Augustine can remain a valid Church Father, and be orthodox without not being Orthodox. He is not Orthodox in his opinion on John 15:26 and Acts 2:33. Even he agrees with this, he says it would be insane to say the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father and the Son, so in this statement he is Orthodox. But his thinking out loud is speculative heterodoxy, mistaken theologoumena, not outright heresies, but his followers, making Augustine of Hippo int what he was not, “The Greatest Christian Theologian (Systematic) of All Time”, Augustine: Supreme Pontiff of Rome: That is not the Real Augustne: But Calvin, Luther, and Charlemagne (742-814), it was Charlemagne who preached politics at the Council of Aachen, 809, that said that Augustine’s Filioque was necessary for salvation, and that anyone who questioned Augustine and Filioque was anathema marantha, eternally damned, eternally lost. This is not so. This is Charlemagne’s Carolingian SIN and SCHISM, POLITICS, Charlemagne’s surrender to the devil, seeking a kingdom of power and wealth that is of this world, to boot, he had marital problems (I am a lot like that, so I can fault him not: I am just a sinner, too), and he killed many people in endless Carolingian wars. For more information, and my opinion agrees with the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy, like every true EO Christian, I am a strict Monopatrist, see: Holy Apostles Convent. (1990). The Lives of the Pillars of Orthodoxy: Saint Photios, Saint Gregory Palamas, Saint Mark of Ephesus. Buena Vista, Colorado: Holy Apostles Convent. A. Edward Siecienski. (2010). The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy. New York: Oxford University. You will never understand and reject Augustine’s heretical work “De Trinitate” unless you submit your heart will and intellect and your Christian faith to: Nicene Creed, 381 AD, without Filioque, and Saint Photios. (1983). On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Holy Transfiguration Monastery, translators. Boston, Massachusetts: Studion Publishers. Fr. Michael Azkoul. The Influence Augustine of Hippo on the Orthodox Church. F r. Michael Azkoul. Once Delivered Unto the Saints: An Orthodox Apology for the Twenty-first Century. (2000). Seattle, WA: St. Nectarios Press. See especially: James C. Russell. The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity. And: Fr. John Samuel Romanides. (1982). Franks, Romands, Feudalism, and Doctrine: An Interplay of Theology and Society. Brookline, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. See: Schaeffer, Frank. (2003). Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religions. Salisbury, Massachusetts: Regina Orthodox Press. Whelton, Michael. (1999). Two Paths: Papal Monarchy – Collegial Tradition. Rome’s False Claims of Papal Supremacy in the Light of Orthodox Teaching. Salisbury, Massachusetts: Regina Orthodox Press.
Your lengthy copy/pasting amounts to saying “Augustine is filioquist in the RC sense”, That is a false statement. I never said Augustine was RC. But you haven’t PROVEN he was Orthodox. Unless you can read Mystagogia of Photios and find quotes from Augustine that back up Photios, you haven’t PROVEN Augustian was Orthodox in the Monopatrism sense of Photian Orthodoxy. Photios has proven himself to be a Pillar of the Church. Augustine has not. Augustine is more a Teacher than a Full Father. His thought is Speculative and Problematic, which is why you have difficulty PROVING he is Orthodox. In the Monopatrist sense. He was called a Father for his piety and his heart after God, not for his doctrinal Orthodoxy. He was too psychological to be a full theologian. He tried to defend Christ by analogy an philosophy, not teach fully ORTHODOX dogmatic Trinitarianism. His model of the Trinity is philosophy, not theology. You should read Hans Kung’s statement on Augustine, in The Catholic Church: A Short History. New York, Modern Library, 2001.
You simply haven’t shown Augustine is Orthodox. You think too much. And you ignore Photios’ Mystagogy. Your arguments are spurious and hyper-intellectual, lacking Scripture and the Church Fathers. You take Augustine as Augustine for Augutine by Augustine and without Photios and without Chrysostom and without Constantinople I and without John Damascene. There is no Orthodox need to defend Augustine. He is one man. Orthodoxy is dependent on the 7 ecumenical councils and the consensus Patrum, the mind of all the Orthodox Catholic Church Fathers, collectively, not Sola Augustinus. You are clinging too much with trying to reconcile Roman Catholicism Augustinian Protestantism with Eastern Orthodoxy. It can’t be done. They are totally different. The Catholics and Protestants have a different god, a different trinity, from the True God, the True Trinity, of the True Church, the Orthodox Church. Your vain attempt to defend Augustine may make you feel good, but it does not reconcile with the True Holy Spirit Who eternally “proceedeth from the Father alone” (John 15:26). You need to stop arguing so much and simply believe Photios’ Mystagogia and Constantinople I, without Filioque. If you with Fr. John Morris falsely slander me and say I am just an “Orthodox fundmentalist”, well, that is false. We all have a disease in common: The Pan-heresy of ecumenism. Quit trying to make heterodoxy Orthodox. It can’t be done. You should read the books I mentioned and stop wasting time defending Augustine. He has never been excommunicated and does not need defending. Let him rest in peace and quit troubling others with your philosophy. It is wrong to think too much. We are all here to believe the Nicene Creed, 381 AD, nothing more. Nothing more is necessary for salvation. God bless you all, brothers and sisters in Christ. I am sorry. I don’t mean to lapse into Triumphalism. God forgive me, brothers and sisters, all I have sinned against, whether in thought, word, and deed, and by all of my sense. God bless us everyone. Let us be at peace. I can’t agree with this, I believe you are making too much of one man, Augustine. There are other more fully Orthodox Church Fathers. Take care.
In truth, Augustine is not Filioquist in the RC and Protestant sense, but neither is Augustine Monopatrist in the sense of Constantinople 1, 381 AD, and the Three Pillars of Orthodoxy, Photios, Gregory Palamas, and Mark of Ephesus. The EOC was Monopatrist with Basil and Athanasius and Ambrose and John Damascene and John Chrysostom, but Monopatrism was not fully defended and explained until these later Three Pillars of Orthodoxy, and since Augustine lived before them and did not know them and their writings, Augustine’s speculations are not fully Orthodox in this later sense.
Craig’s understanding of Augustine is not wrong. I am not trying to prove anyone wrong. I am saying the truth: It simply doesn’t matter what Augustine believed on this. His thought is incoherent and does not agree with Photios, Gregory Palamas, Mark of Ephesus, Constantinople I, Ambrose, Basil, Athanasius, John Damascene. That is all that matters. Let him rest in peace and quit trying to defend him as a Pillar of Orthodoxy. The Church has already decided that Photios, Palmas, and Mark of Ephesus speak for Orthodoxy. Not Augustine.
Again, you’re begging the question. If Craig’s argument is right, St. Augustine does in fact agree with all the other saints you mention. That’s why it DOES matter what St. Augustine thinks.
Furthermore, Craig’s argument does NOT try to show that RCism is reducible to or consistent with Orthodoxy. Quite the opposite. The argument is that the West misunderstood him. Craig doesn’t argue this (but I personally do), but when the East finally even heard of the filioque and condemned it, they took the West’s misapprehensions of St. Augustine at face value as representing his actual thought. So the East was CORRECT to resist the filioque, particularly as it was articulated at Florence, but INCORRECT in ascribing that heretical view to St. Augustine.
Did Augustine mean the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father “through” the Son, as in being sent by the Father “AND THE SON” in TIME. not eternally? That is Orthodox. Otherwise, he was a Filioquist, in a RC sense. And that is not Orthodox. Provide evidence that his processsion was temporal, not eternal, from the Person of the Son. But any form of Filioquism is heterodox. A temporal mission is not a procession in in an ontological-personalist sense. That is heterodox. Maybe Augustine was not a Filioquist. If he was, he was not Orthodox. Did he teach Monopatrism? If he did not, he was not Orthodox.
So the East was CORRECT to resist the filioque, particularly as it was articulated at Florence, but INCORRECT in ascribing that heretical view to St. Augustine. You haven’t PROVEN that the East was INCORRECT about ANYTHING.
u tried Wanderer 🙂
You need to provide doctrinal statements from Augustine De Trintate comparing them word-for-word with doctrinal statements from Photius Mystagogia of the Holy Spirit. I’m not looking for a philosophical argument; I’m looking for verbal facts, and you must explain the semantics of Augustine and the semantics of Photius. If not, you are not proving anything but your statement, “I think Augustine is Orthodox”, but you haven’t proven from Augustine and Photius that he is.
Archimandrite Vassilios Bakoyannis: “The Filioque: “The Filioque was introduced at the third local Synod of Toledo (589 AD) and confirmed by the fourth local Synod which met in the same city in 633 AD”. “The Filioque is heretical. “The Western Church believes that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The Eastern Church believes that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and is sent into the world by the Son. Either the Western Church is confusing the “procession” with the “mission” or is deliberately closing its eyes to the difference. “We would ask just one question: Where does it say in Scripture that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son? Nowhere! On the contrary, it says clearly and bluntly (John 15:26) that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father”. [One Lord, One Faith: An introduction to comparative Christian doctrine.]. Saint Mark of Ephesus: “The Latins are not only schismatics but heretics . . . “The Latins are not only schismatics but heretics… we did not separate from them for any other reason other than the fact that they are heretics. This is precisely why we must not unite with them unless they dismiss the addition from the creed Filioque and confess the creed as we do”. Saint Mark of Ephesus: .” . . flee those who uphold other doctrines …. All the teachers of the Church, all the Councils, and all the Divine Scriptures, exhort us to flee those who uphold other doctrines and to separate from communion with them.” — Saint Mark of Ephesus, Confession of Faith, XII, 304.
“The Trinity reinterpreted. “For many years Augustine worked indefatigably on a great work of his old age, without being prompted to it by a heresy but rather out of an inner need for clarification: he was concerned to present a deeper, more convincing reinterpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity. His interpretation would come to command such a following in the Latin West that people would hardly be aware of any other. But to the present day it is resolutely rejected by the Greeks. Why? “The Greek church fathers always began from the one God and Father, who for them, as for the New Testament, was “the God” (ho theos). They defined the relationship of God the Father to the Son and Spirit in the light of this one God and Father. … “Augustine differed completely; instead of beginning from one God and Father he began from the one nature of God, or divine substance, which was common to Father, Son, and Spirit. For the Latin theologians the principle of unity was not the Father but the one divine nature, or substance. ….. “Thus Augustine had made an intellectual construction of the Trinity with philosophical and psychological categories in an extremely subtle way as a self-unfolding of God. Here the “and the Son” seemed so essential that in the West from the sixth/seventh century it was gradually inserted into the creed. Time and again it was required by the German emperors after Charlemagne, and in 1014 it was definitively inserted by Rome into the ancient creed. But even today the East still regards this Filioque as a falsification of the old ecumenical creed and as clear heresy. However, similarly, to the present day those Catholic and Protestant dogmatic theologians of the West who attempt to make what is claimed to be the central dogma of Christianity credible to their contemporaries with every possible modernization and new argument (usually in vain) hardly seem to be aware that they are interpreting the relationship between Father, Son, and Spirit not so much in the light of the New Testament as in the light of Augustine”. [Hans Küng. (2001). The Catholic Church: A Short History. New York: Modern Library; pages 49-51.]. ` Why the Filioque is a heresy. by Father John S. Romanides. The Filioque is a heresy, because it confuses the hypostatic properties of the Father, that is, His being cause, with those of the Son and, as a result, introduces a kind of Semi-Sabellianism. This is the case if the notion of being cause belongs both to the Father’s and to the Son’s hypostasis, but not to the Spirit’s. If the Father and the Son as hypostases are the cause of the existence of the Holy Spirit, then, according to Photios, we have two principles in the Godhead, or, if they think of the Father and the Son as one cause, then, as we said above, we have Semi-Sabellianism, that is, the identification of the incommunicable, hypostatic properties of the Father and the Son. … Consequently, if the Father’s and the Son’s essence is the cause of the existence of the Holy Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is a creature. Again, He is a creature, if the cause of the Spirit’s existence, or His procession, is a common energy of the Father and the Son, of which the Spirit is lacking. ….. Today, the Latins (that is, Roman Catholic theologians) are obliged, if they wish to revise the foundation of their theology, not only to take seriously the theology of the Fathers, which constituted the basis of the decisions of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, but also to revise the Trinitarian terminology, which is based on Augustine’s doctrine. Source: An Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics, pages 33-35.
Is your need to beg questions a medical thing?
No. Is your need to defy the ad hominem rule against ad hominem illogic an illogical thing? Stick to the facts and avoid personal comments on other people. Your posts beg the question of how you prove Augustine’s De Trinitate agrees fully with Photios’ Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Until you do that, you will never convince me that Saint Augustine is an Orthodox Christian in the same sense as Saint Photios the Great (810-895). See: OrthodoxWiki. God bless you.
You’re right. I shouldn’t have said that. I had made the point earlier that you have been begging the question, and when you did it again, I should have let it pass without comment. There was no need for me to be mean. I’m sorry.
You should read what blessed Saint Photios the Great says about Blessed Augustine of Hippo in his germinal work, “On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit”, Holy Transfiguration Monastery, translators. (1983). Boston, Massachusetts: Studion Publishers. No Ecumenical Council has condemned Augustine as heterodox (heretical), and no Ecumenical Council has fully endorsed and agreed with every theological speculation (theologoumena) of Augustine of Hippo as necessary dogma de fide to be believed as Orthodox Church dogma under penalty of anathema maranatha for rejecting Augustine’s peculiar doctrines. That is the truth. He is, as it were, in the twilight zone, neither fully endorsed, nor derisively condemned, as were Tertullian, Origen, and Nestorius, Eutyches, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. I am not sure about Theodore of Mopsuestia, but I am sure the Church knows what it is saying on him. I have no opinion as I have not read him nor the condemnation of his 3 chapters. Take care.
I believe, Augustine was trying to be an “mere Christian”, to borrow an anachronistic phrase from Anglican apologist for Christianity C.S. Lewis. He is not a full Roman Catholic in the post Pope Nicholas I (867 AD) sense, nor is he fully in line philosophically or theologically with Basil the Great, Athanasius the Great, Gregory Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, Irenaeus, John Damascene, but he is not heterodox in major ways; where he speaks theologoumena, he is not defining infallible anathema maranatha Christian dogma which must be believed “or else”; he is merely thinking out loud, to try and defend Christ and the Trinity, and not dogmatize what must be believed de fide orthodoxa for all time: he is making use of Greek and Latin philosophical tools to defend orthodox theological positions. Well, anyway, that is what I think, not what I know. What I know is limited. Craig Truglia, you seem to be much more well-read in a variety of patristics : the church fathers, theology and philosophy and soteriological controversy, controversies, and a bit more engaged in Eastern Orthodox and Western Reformed/Calvinist interaction and controversy, a bit more of Calvin than Luther,Melachthon, Knox, Wesley, Cranmer, or, heaven help us, King Henry VIII, or James Arminius of Francis A. Schaeffer for that matter. Or Billy Graham. Enough said. Anyway, and who wpuld have a serious post about comparing an Eastern Orthodox Father to, say, Jimmy Swaggart. (1987). Straight Answers to Tough Questions. Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt. Publishers. Or could you study and from an Eastern Orthodox Chalcedonian theological view on Bible prophecy and Christian eschatology, see: Lindsey, Hal. (1971). The Late Great Planet Earth. New York: Bantam Books. Or venture into. Wilkerson, David. (1974). The Vision. Old Tappan, NJ: Spire Books. Wilkerson, David. (1976). Racing Toward Judgment: the Sequel to The Vision. New York: Pillar Books. And in any case, these are old things to me. More pertinent, in my variety of ecumenical Christian reading, Catholicism on purgatory and personal vices, personal sin, such relevant books: John Michael Talbot. (1986). The Fire of God. Berryville, AR: Troubadour For the Lord/New York: Crossroad. I have learned all I know about Reformed and Protestant departure from Greek Orthodoxy in: Schaeffer, Frank. (1994). Dancing Alone: The Quest For Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religions. Brooline, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. Schaeffer, Frank. (2003). Dancing Alone: The Quest For Orthodox Faith In the Age of False Religions, Salisbury, Massachusetts: Regina Orthodox Press. But in summary, Craig Truglia, if you have time, and wish to study this book thoroughly, and prayerfully (may the All-Holy Blessed Eternal Holy Spirit Who proceedeth from the Father Alone (John 15:26) guide you into all the truth (John 16:!3) about this Greek Orthodox Christian book: If you could do us a favor and hone your keen reading and scholarly skills and your heart, give your heart and mind to Christ in studying and explaining to us your perspective on: Saint Photios. (1983). On the Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit. Holy Transfiguration Monastery. translators. Rev. Fr. Doctor Michael Azkoul, Ph.D. Boston, Massachusetts: Studion Publishers, Incorpprated. God bless and save you and save us all, my brothers and sisters in Christ, preserve you life and health and keep you from corona plague: God save and heal us all God bless us everyone: LORD have mercy. Amen. In Erie PA See my web site; Scott Robert Harrington WordPress.com Saint Andrew of Valaam Association. Take care. God bless. God bless America. Amen.